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The Camas Hotel
Camas Hotel Celebrating 107 Years!!
by The Camas Hotel Staff on January 25th, 2018

Some things old... Some things new! 

We are so excited to be celebrating 107 years at The Camas Hotel! Above is a picture of the original lobby in 1911! 
Built in 1911 by Prussian immigrant Paul Hinz, the Camas Hotel is 107 years old officially on January 29th! The Hotel is the oldest commercial building in Camas. With renovations back in 2011 and prior as well as a recent renovation this past May, 2017 to a few rooms the hotel, it has stayed in excellent shape!

The hotel used to be known as the "Commercial Hotel", but after a fire in the 1930's a rival hotel, which stood just across the street that was named "Camas Hotel". After this fire Hinz was able to adopt the name to "Camas Hotel". 

Paul Hinz lived in the hotel with his wife and three children for several years after completing construction. His wife passed away while his children were still young, so he raised his three children in the hotel. He was rumored to be very strict, according to some older Camas residents who still remember the Hinz children as their classmates. 

‚ÄčNo story in Camas would be complete without some mention about the local Paper Mill, which is an integral part of the town's history. In the 1930's the city agreed that the Crown Willamette Paper Mill could ad pulp processing, and it became a 'kraft' mill". This provided many new jobs, but unfortunately led to a distinctive odor in the town. Camas, in spite of it's charm, beauty and lovely lakes, became known for being the "stinky town across the river" to many Portlanders. This didn't help the town's hotel business, and Paul Hinz decide to fight the mill. He sought damages for the loss of business, and was awarded a settlement of $5,000 in 1932. This was a lot of money in those days, but it made Paul a somewhat unpopular man in town, due to the fact that so many people worked at the mill. 

Fortunately for Camas, Georgia Pacific, who currently own the mill, installed hi-tech clean smokestacks over a decade ago so residents and visitors can enjoy fresh air along with all the many other charms of this historic riverside town.

In our lobby we have a binder full of stories and pictures, so next time you visit us take a look at the history!  

Camas Hotel Founder Paul Hinz



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